Health Scan: November 2019 - www.healthscan.biz
drugs or alcohol. Many men do not recognize their depression and fail to seek help.  Older adults with depression may have less obvious symptoms, or they may be less likely to admit to feelings of sadness or grief. They are also more likely to have medical conditions, such as heart disease, which may cause or contribute to depression.  Younger children with depression may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die.  Older children and teens with depression may get into trouble at school, sulk, and be irritable. Teens with depression may have symptoms of other disorders, such as anxiety, eating disorders, or substance abuse.    The first step in getting the right treatment is to visit a health care provider or mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. Your health care provider can do an exam, interview, and lab tests to rule out other health conditions that may have the same symptoms as depression. Once diagnosed, depression can be treated with medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. If these treatments do not reduce symptoms, brain stimulation therapy may be another treatment option to explore. Medications called antidepressants can work well to treat depression. They can take 2 to 4 weeks to work. Antidepressants can have side effects, but many side effects may lessen over time. Talk to your health care provider about any side effects that you have. Do not stop taking your antidepressant without first talking to your health care provider. Psychotherapy helps by teaching new ways of thinking and behaving, and changing habits that may be contributing to depression. Therapy can help you understand and work through difficult relationships or situations that may be causing your depression or making it worse. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and other brain stimulation therapies may be an option for people with severe depression who do not respond to antidepressant medications. ECT is the best studied brain stimulation therapy and has the longest history of use. Other stimulation therapies discussed here are newer, and in some cases still experimental methods. As you continue treatment, you may start to feel better gradually. Remember that if you are taking an antidepressant, it may take 2 to 4 weeks to start working. Try to do things that you used to enjoy. Go easy on yourself. Other things that may help include:  Trying to be active and exercise  Breaking up large tasks into small ones, set priorities, and do what you can as you can  Spending time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative Postponing important life decisions until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well  Avoiding self-medication with alcohol or with drugs not prescribed for you   If you know someone who has depression, first help him or her see a health care provider or mental health professional. You can also:  Offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement  Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to your loved one’s health care provider or therapist  Invite him or her out for walks, outings, and other activities Help him or her adhere to the treatment plan, such as setting reminders to take prescribed medications  Help him or her by ensuring that he or she has transportation to therapy appointments  Remind him or her that, with time and treatment, the depression will lift
Treatment approaches
Brain Stimulation Therapies
Self Help
Helping others
Contd…next issue Article credit:  National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Contd..from previous page